The humming was getting louder, and she could feel the presence of someone standing close to her. She noticed that she was now trapped in what appeared to be a brightly lit cube spinning in different directions, making her dizzy. No, wait, it was not a cube – it was a tesseract! A four-dimensional, eight cell cube!
“Hello Elizabeth,” a friendly female voice sounding like her own, addressed her. She felt somewhat comforted by the fact that at least someone called her by her first name this time.
“Yes, it is a tesseract. It’s just like the model you built in your school science experiment, isn’t it?”
“How do you know?” she asked, amazed at the resemblance it bore to her own drawings and the model she built at school.
“Oh, I know all about you, Elizabeth,” the voice replied with a soft laughter.
“Who are you?” she asked, looking around, but seeing nothing but bright blue lights and moving edges with no sense of direction.
“We will get to that soon,” the voice assured. “But before that, tell me, where do you see yourself in ten years?”
“What is this, a job interview?” she asked. “In case you didn’t notice, I’m too busy trying get out of here alive to worry about my career goals.”
The humming increased, and so did the spinning, making her increasingly nauseous. She closed her eyes as she drifted into unconsciousness. When she opened them, she found herself outdoors again. She couldn’t believe it. She was standing in front of her home. What happened? Was she free?
“Mom! Dad!” she rushed inside in excitement.
Her parents were seated at the dining table, having breakfast. They didn’t notice her. Her kid brother came down the stairs. He was all grown up and in high school.
“Bobby!” she cried, but he didn’t notice her either.
“They can’t see or hear you,” the voice told her.
“What? Why?” she asked.
She looked at her family pictures on the wall. She was nowhere in them. She ran to her bedroom. Only it was Bobby’s. There was nothing there that was hers. Fear and tension gripped her.
“You’re in the future, Elizabeth. You don’t exist.”
“Am I dead?”
“No, you were never born. You are nobody. Your existence was erased when you refused to join the agency.”
“But how can you do that? How can you change the past?”
“You have no idea what we’re capable of, Elizabeth,” the voice replied in a mocking tone as she found herself sucked back inside the tesseract.
“Who are you? Why are you doing this?”
A figure began to appear as the sounds were silenced and the spinning stopped. She was completely unprepared for what she saw next.
Standing in front of her with a shorter strand of hair than hers and a slightly slimmer and a more mature appearance was a woman who bore a striking resemblance of herself.
“I’m you, Elizabeth,” she replied as she came fully in the view, facing her. “I’m Elizabeth Quinn, ten years from now.”
“I’m Elizabeth Quinn from the alternate plane of reality who chose to join the agency,” she continued. “I’m the one who built this inter-dimensional time-traveling portal. I’m who you can be, or could have been.”